Reissue of Chet Baker Quintette - Chet Baker Quintette, released in 1963 on Crown Records. Chet Baker was a primary exponent of the West Coast school of cool jazz in the early and mid-'50s. As a trumpeter, he had a generally restrained, intimate playing style and he attracted attention beyond jazz for his photogenic looks and singing. Baker earned much attention and critical praise through the 1950s, particularly for albums featuring his vocals (Chet Baker Sings, It Could Happen to You). Jazz historian Dave Gelly described the promise of Baker's early career as "James Dean, Sinatra, and Bix, rolled into one." His well-publicized drug habit also drove his notoriety and fame; Baker was in and out of jail frequently before enjoying a career resurgence in the late 1970s and '80s.
John Pizzarelli teams with the George Shearing Quintet to reveal their unique musical chemistry on The Rare Delight of You, a 15-track gem filled with the ambience of such great composers as Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Harry Warren, and the master himself, George Shearing. Pizzarelli, a master of the Great American Songbook, showcases his musical heirlooms – buoyant, loving vocals and quality guitar skills – alongside Shearing's authentic and full-spirited piano savvy with brilliant insight and freedom of expression without exceeding the boundaries of the original compositions. The results are tender, expressive, jazz renderings that resound with taste and class…
Most of this CD is taken up by a special Newport Jazz Festival concert featuring a big band full of Lionel Hampton's alumni. With trombonist Al Grey, Frank Foster on tenor and a screaming trumpet section that boasted Snooky Young, Jimmy Nottingham, Joe Newman and Wallace Davenport, the explosive nature of the music is not too surprising; the climax is provided by guest Illinois Jacquet on "Flying Home." The remainder of this disc contains half of a very effective 1956 session cut in Spain in which the medium-size group includes a castanet player and two songs match Hampton with the great Spanish pianist Tete Monteliu.
In 1954, producer Norman Granz held a couple of marathon recording sessions featuring vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, pianist Oscar Peterson, bassist Ray Brown, drummer Buddy Rich, and (on April 13) clarinetist Buddy DeFranco. This set has three selections from the DeFranco date (a 17-plus-minute "Flying Home," the original "Je Ne Sais Pas," and "On the Sunny Side of the Street") and one from the earlier session ("April in Paris"). Hampton is typically exuberant throughout (grunting rather loudly during a few later ensemble choruses on "Flying Home"), DeFranco and Peterson are as swinging as usual, and the overall music is quite joyous.
Weber’s chamber music – just these three pieces if you don’t count the duos – clearly shows him on the cusp between Classical and Romantic. The Quartet for piano and strings, written in his early twenties between 1807 and 1809, begins with a Haydnesque gracefulness and politeness which is gradually invaded by more unruly harmonies and textures; the dramatic slow movement looks ahead to Schumann, while the closing fugue of the finale dresses 18th-century procedures in 19th-century colours. Then there’s the element of virtuosity which is a hallmark of the early Romantic era, in the showy piano part of the Quartet, which Weber wrote for himself, the concerto-like clarinet part in the Quintet with strings, designed for the pioneering Heinrich Baermann, and all three parts of the tuneful Trio for flute, cello and piano. The talented members of the pan-European Gaudier Ensemble are perfectly equipped to convey these different aspects of Weber’s musical personality, with the fleet-fingered pianist Susan Tomes leading the way in the Quartet and Trio, and Richard Hosford in the Clarinet Quintet recalling contemporary descriptions of Baermann’s own effortless brilliance.